A Travellerspoint blog

May 2017

Glasgow's other historic heart.

The area around Glasgow Cross.

While the area around Glasgow Cathedral is correctly thought of as the historic heart of Glasgow, a second historic centre also developed where High Street, Gallowgate, London Road, the Saltmarket and the Trongate intersect. This area is known as Glasgow Cross. It is the old market cross area of Glasgow.

Glasgow Cross.

Glasgow Cross.

Most old British towns have a market cross or in Scottish Mercat Cross which marks the site where markets can be held. It normally takes the form of a stone obelisk which might be a cross or might be topped by an animal. The one in Glasgow is topped with a unicorn's head. The Mercat Cross dates from 1929. Behind it stands the Mercat Building which dates from 1928.

Mercat Cross and the Mercat Building.

Mercat Cross and the Mercat Building.

One of the most noticeable landmarks of Glasgow Cross is the Tollbooth Steeple. The Tollbooth Steeple dates from 1627. Along with Glasgow's original Tolbooth it was used to house the Town Clerk’s office, the council chamber and the city jail. It was sold in 1814 and then became the premises of John A. Bowman who was an auctioneer and valuator. It was demolished in 1921, leaving only the steeple which is still there in the present day. The Tolbooth Steeple was once the site of public hangings.

The Tolbooth Steeple.

The Tolbooth Steeple.

One of the roads intersecting at Market Cross is the Trongate. The name Trongate comes from a sixteenth century weighbeam, where all goods
brought in from the Clyde were weighed and taxed. Tron is an old Scots word of Norman origin meaning weighing scales. The Tron Kirk with its distinctive steeple and clock, located at 63 Trongate, is this street's most famous landmark. It dates from 1793. Its steeple dates from 1631 and it is one of the oldest buildings in the Merchant City. The Tron Kirk was redeveloped in 1999 at a cost of five million pounds. Nowadays the main body of the old church is the new Tron Theatre.

The Tron Kirk.

The Tron Kirk.

Not too far from this bustling historic area, lies another much quieter historical place - Glasgow Green. Glasgow Green is the oldest park in the city of Glasgow. It is located on the north banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow's East End. Edwin Morgan wrote a famous poem about it. It starts like this:

'Clammy midnight, moonless mist.
A cigarette glows and fades on a cough.
Methmen mutter on benches,
pawed by river Fog.'

King James II gave the land that became Glasgow Green to Bishop William Turnbull and the people of Glasgow in 1450. At that time the Green was divided by the Camlachie and Molendinar Burns. The green was used as a grazing area, an area to wash and bleach linen and an area to dry fishing nets. Glasgow's first steamie, called The Washhouse, opened on Glasgow Green on the banks of the Camlachie Burn in 1732. Over the years Glasgow Green has been the site of protests, marches, celebrations and much, much more.

Glasgow Green.

Glasgow Green.

The McLennan Arch was originally part of Glasgow's Assembly Rooms which were built in 1796 on the north side of Ingram Street. These Rooms were a gathering place for dances and music. In 1847 the Assembly Rooms became the Atheneum Club. These rooms were demolished in 1892 to make way for the new General Post Office, but their central arch was kept and moved to Glasgow Green in 1922. It looks like a triumphal arch in the style of the Arc de Triomphe. Near the arch stands the Collins Fountain which commemorates William Collins, owner of the Collins Publishing Firm, Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1877 to 1880 and a leading member of the Temperance Movement.

The McLennan Arch.

The McLennan Arch.

The Nelson Monument on Glasgow Green is a 43.5 m high column. It was built in 1806, less than a year after Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson was born on the 29th of September 1758. He was most famous for fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. After his death there was a massive public outpouring of grief. He was given a state funeral before being buried in St Paul's Cathedral. A number of monuments and memorials were constructed across the United Kingdom to honour his memory. The one on Glasgow Green was the earliest of these.

Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column

The main reason people go to Glasgow Green is probably to visit the People's Palace. The People's Palace was opened on the 22nd of January, 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery. The People's Palace is a free admission museum about life in Glasgow. On the ground floor it has a gift shop, free and clean toilets, a cafe and a very pleasant Winter Garden enclosed in a glass house. Upstairs there are models of a steamie, an old shop, a wartime Anderson shelter, a prison cell and a kitchen. There are also exhibits on tenement life, dancing at the Barrowland Ballroom, going 'Doon the Watter' to Rothesay and much much more. At the back of the People's Palace there is a large glass conservatory called the Winter Garden. It is a pleasant place to sit and relax, maybe read a book or consult your mobile phone. It is also possible to enjoy some refreshments from its cafe. The gardens contain a wide variety of flowers and plants.

The People's Palace.

The People's Palace.

The People's Palace.

The People's Palace.

The Doulton Fountain was designed by Arthur Edward Pearce to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. It now stands in front of the People's Palace on Glasgow Green, but was originally displayed at the 1888 International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. The fountain is 46 feet high. The Doulton Fountain celebrates the former British Empire. At the top is a statue of Queen Victoria which was sculpted by John Broad. One level down there are four kneeling maidens emptying pitchers. Down one more level and there are sentries representing Scottish, English and Irish regiments, and a sailor representing the Royal Navy. Below this there are scenes representing Canada, South Africa, Australia and India. The Doulton Fountain is the largest terracota fountain in the world.

Off to one side of the People's Palace on Glasgow Green there is a statue of a little boy playing a pan pipe. At his feet there are two squirrels obviously entranced by the music. This statue is officially called Springtime, though it is affectionately known as Peter Pan. Springtime was designed by Thomas J Clapperton, a sculptor who lived from 1879 until 1962. Clapperton also sculpted the statue of Robert the Bruce outside Edinburgh Castle and the statue of Learning which adorns the top of the Mitchell Library. That statue is affectionately known as Mrs Mitchell. Clapperton was born in Galashiels.

Springtime.

Springtime.

To one side of the People's Palace there is a statue of James Watt. For years this stood on Dassie Green, Bridgeton. It was in a rundown state and had even lost its head. It has been restored and relocated to Glasgow Green where it could do with a bit of demossing, but at least it is intact. James Watt was born in Greenock on the 18th of January 1736. His father was a wealthy shipwright. James Watt was fascinated with steam engines from an early age. These were around when he was born, but they were hopelessly inefficient. One Sabbath Day while Watt was wandering across Glasgow Green, pondering the inefficiencies of steam engines, he hit upon the idea of condensing the steam in a separate vessel. This idea is credited with kick starting the industrial revolution. The place where inspiration struck Watt is marked by an inscribed stone. It is near the Nelson Monument. We missed it as it was being set up for a fair when we visited. It is called the James Watt Boulder. Its inscription reads: "Near this spot in 1765 James Watt conceived the idea for the separate condenser for the steam engine." Watt worked on engines for many years. By 1790, he was rich. In 1800 he retired and devoted himself entirely to research work. He patented several important inventions such as: the rotary engine, the double action engine and the steam indicator. He died on the 19th of August 1819. A unit of measurement of electrical and mechanical power the
watt is named in his honour.

James Watt statue.

James Watt statue.

Just across from Glasgow Green stands the Templeton Carpet Factory. James Templeton from Cambletown was a business man who originally owned a shawl factory in Paisley. However, he went on to patent a process by which he could manufacture densely patterned and richly coloured carpets. He soon became one of the most successful carpet manufacturers in Britain and produced carpets for state occasions, grand estate houses and even the Titanic. Templeton commissioned Scottish architect, William Leiper, to design his carpet factory on the edge of Glasgow Green. The design for the factory was inspired by the Doge's Palace in Venice. The colourful glazed brick exterior relates to the rich Oriental patterns of the carpets the factory produced. Work on the factory began in 1888 and was completed in 1892. However, during construction there was a terrible accident. On the 1st of November 1889, part of the factory's wall collapsed during high winds, trapping over 100 women working in the weaving sheds underneath. Twenty-nine of these women were killed. The People's Palace has exhibits on the factory.

The Templeton  Carpet Factory.

The Templeton Carpet Factory.

Another old building near Glasgow Green is the impressive looking Justiciary Courthouse which is located just across the road from the McLennan Arch. This building is one of the earliest and finest examples of a Greek revival building in Glasgow. It was designed by the architect, William Stark. It was built between 1807 and 1814. It Initially acted as a courtroom, offices and a gaol, but later became courthouses only. Between 1814 and 1865 public executions were carried out in Jocelyn Square located nearby on Glasgow Green, facing the Nelson Monument. 67 men and 4 women were hanged there.

The Justiciary Courthouse.

The Justiciary Courthouse.

There are several lovely bridges near or leading to Glasgow Green. I really liked St Andrew's Suspension Bridge.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge.

Glasgow Green has several lovely fountains. The most famous and ornate is the Doulton Fountain mentioned above. However, next to Glasgow Green there is also a lovely fountain in memory of Glasgow Bailie, James Martin. James Martin was born in 1815 and died in 1892. In a long and distinguished career he was a Town Councillor, the Town's Master of Works, a member of the Clyde Navigation Trust, a Justice of the Peace and a Police Judge. His fountain was erected by public subscription after his death. It is made of cast iron and dates from 1894.

The James Martin Fountain.

The James Martin Fountain.

A simpler but equally pretty fountain is the Hugh MacDonald Fountain at Glasgow Green near the people's Palace. Hugh MacDonald was born in 1817 and died in 1860. He was a poet and writer. He was best known for 'Rambles Round Glasgow' in which he recorded his walks around the city. This fountain nicknamed the "Bonnie Wee Well" was designed by John Mossman.

The Hugh MacDonald Fountain.

The Hugh MacDonald Fountain.

Posted by irenevt 07:58 Archived in Scotland Comments (4)

Old Glasgow

The historical centre of the city.

large_7598566-Glasgow_Cathedral.jpg

I grew up on the outskirts of Glasgow. As I started to travel more and more and research many new places, I suddenly realised that I knew embarrassingly little about my own city. In the last couple of years I have started trying to remedy this by learning a bit about where I am from.

The heart of historical Glasgow centres around its medieval cathedral. This is thought to have been built on the site of the tomb of St Mungo, the partron saint of Glasgow. According to legend in the fifth century St. Ninian created a Christian burial ground in an area that later developed into Glasgow. A century later Mungo, who was born and brought up in Fife where he was trained as a priest by St Serf, had to accompany the corpse of a holy man, Fergus. Fergus's corpse was carried on a cart by two wild oxen. Mungo planned to bury Fergus wherever the oxen stopped the cart. They stopped at St Ninian's burial ground. Mungo buried Fergus there and established a church at the same spot. Mungo called the place he buried Fergus 'Glasgu' or the dear green place.

Glasgow Cathedral was the only major cathedral on the Scottish mainland which managed to survive the Reformation. Entry to Glasgow Cathedral nowadays is free. It has some beautiful stain glass windows. The tomb of St Mungo's is downstairs in the crypt.

The Tomb of St. Mungo.

The Tomb of St. Mungo.

Inside the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral.

There are several other historic sights near Glasgow Cathedral. On the hill behind it stands the Necropolis - Glasgow's city of the dead. This large Victorian era graveyard contains many interesting tombs and affords wonderful views of the cathedral and its neighbour the Royal Infirmary. I worked in Glasgow Royal Infirmary one summer when I was a student at Glasgow University and used to have to wheel laundry trolleys through tunnels underneath the hospital. Allegedly an escape tunnel for the monks to flee down if attacked went from Glasgow Cathedral to the area now occupied by the hospital.

Glasgow Cathedral from the Necropolis.

Glasgow Cathedral from the Necropolis.

Glasgow Cathedral and the Royal Infirmary.

Glasgow Cathedral and the Royal Infirmary.

The Necropolis includes the graves of around fifty thousand people. It was created by the Merchants' House of Glasgow and first opened in April 1833. On top of the Necropolis Hill there is a statue of John Knox mounted on a tall column. This dates from 1825. On our last visit I also noticed the grave of William Miller - the writer of the Scottish nursery rhyme 'Wee Willie Winkie'. The rhyme goes like this :

Wee Willie Winkie running through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,
Chapping at the windows; crying through the locks,
Are all the bairnies in their beds, it's past eight o'clock?

The grave of William Miller.

The grave of William Miller.

Another notable grave is that of Charles Tennant (1768 – 1838) a Scottish chemist and industrialist who discovered bleaching powder. There's also a large memorial to Duncan Macfarlan (1771-1857). He was the Principal of the University of Glasgow from 1823 to 1857 and the Minister at St Mungo’s Cathedral from 1824 to 1857.

John Knox Column; Duncan MacFarlan grave.

John Knox Column; Duncan MacFarlan grave.

Next to Glasgow Cathedral stands the Saint Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. This is a lovely museum which I did not do full justice to as I visited it in a bit of a rush. It is free to enter. This museum was built in 1989 by Ian Begg - no wonder I don't remember it from my childhood; it did not exist then. The museum building is designed to look like the Bishops’ Castle which once stood on this site. The museum has exhibits from and about all the world's major religions. It also has a Zen Garden, a cafe, a gift shop and clean, free toilets, too.

Saint Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

Saint Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

Stain glass window in the museum.

Stain glass window in the museum.

Hindu goddess.

Hindu goddess.

Zen Garden.

Zen Garden.

Just across the road from this museum is Provand's Lordship - Glasgow's oldest remaining house. Provand's Lordship was built in 1471 by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow. It was originally part of St Nicholas's Hospital. Provand's Lordship is now a free entry museum. It occupies three floors and has several rooms filled with period furniture and an art gallery on the top floor. The furniture in the house is mainly seventeenth-century and was donated by Sir William Burrell. As it is such an old building, there are many ghost stories told about it. Personally I have never found this building scary, but then again I have never been in it alone at night.

Provand's Lordship.

Provand's Lordship.

Inside Provand's Lordship.

Inside Provand's Lordship.

Provand's Lordhip also has a lovely little garden called the St Nicholas Garden. This is a medicinal herb garden surrounded by a cloistered walkway. The walls of the walkway are decorated with the Tontine Heads.

One of the Tontine Heads.

One of the Tontine Heads.

The Tontine Heads originally adorned the Town Hall built in Trongate by Allan Dreghorn between 1737 and 1760. David Cation carved five masks to decorate the walls of this building. Mungo Naismith later supplied an additional five masks. In 1781 the Town Hall was converted by William Hamilton into the Tontine Hotel and the ten masks became known as the Tontine Heads. These heads were acquired by Peter Shannan in 1872 and were used to adorn his new warehouse at the bottom of Buchanan Street. As well as the original ten heads, he added four more carved by William James Maxwell. In 1888 this warehouse was destroyed by fire, one of the heads was destroyed; the others were dispersed to various new owners. In 1994 all the heads that still survived were brought together again and relocated to St Nicholas Garden. These heads are well worth seeing as they have a lot of character.

Another of the Tontine Heads.

Another of the Tontine Heads.

On the walls of St Nicholas's Garden and on the lamposts in Cathedral Square visitors to Glasgow are sure to notice its rather unusual Coat of Arms. A famous rhyme goes along with it:

This is the tree that never grew,
This is the bird that never flew,
This is the fish that never swam,
This is the bell that never rang.
Let Glasgow Flourish.

Glasgow did not have a coat of arms until the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1866, Lord Lyon King at Arms gave approval for a coat of arms which contained a number of symbols associated with St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow. St Mungo is well known for having preached a sermon containing the words: 'Lord, let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of the word.' This was shortened to the motto: Let Glasgow Flourish.

The tree that never grew in the coat of arms started out as a branch of a hazel tree. Legend says that St Mungo was left in charge of a holy fire while he was in St Serf's Monastery, but he fell asleep. Some boys, jealous of Mungo's favoured position with St Serf, put the fire out. When he woke up, St Mungo broke off some branches from a hazel tree and prayed over them, causing them to burst into flames.

The bird that never flew was a wild robin which was tamed by St Serf and which was accidentally killed. St Mungo was blamed for the death, but took the dead bird, prayed over it and restored it to life.

The fish that never swam is always shown with a ring in its mouth, because a King of Strathclyde gave his wife a ring as a present. However, the Queen gave it to a knight and he carelessly lost it. The King then demanded to see the ring threatening to kill the Queen if she could not produce it. The knight confessed to St Mungo that he had lost the ring and St Mungo sent a monk to catch a fish in the River Clyde. The ring was found inside the fish.

The bell that never rang was St Mungo's Bell, paid for by an endowment left by John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow. This bell was tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul.

The Glasgow Coat of Arms.

The Glasgow Coat of Arms.

While the cathedral area is the historic heart of Glasgow, I always think of nearby George Square as being the modern heart of the city. It is right in the centre next to Queens Street Station and not far from major shopping streets like Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street. It is where people gather on Hogmanay to listen to the bells and welcome in the New Year. It is where people stage protests there was a demonstration for transgender rights on our last visit. It is where city centre workers sit to eat their sandwiches on their lunch break.
Several famous, tragic or important events have taken place here. In 1919 a huge protest attended by over 90,000 people demonstrating for improved working conditions was held here. This was known as the Black Friday Rally. It turned violent, the Riot Act had to be read and fully
armed troops and tanks had to be deployed to restore law and order. In December 2014, a bin lorry crashed into pedestrians in George Square, killing six people and injuring ten.

George Square is named after King George III. It was created in 1781. It is home to the City Chambers the headquarters of Glasgow City Council which date from 1888. It has a lion flanked war memorial and lots of statues. These include one of Robert Burns, James Watt, Sir Robert Peel, Queen Victoria on a horse, Prince Albert, poet Thomas Campbell, chemist Thomas Graham, generals Sir John Moore and Lord Clyde and politicians William Ewart Gladstone and James Oswald. Right in the centre there is an eighty foot high column topped by Sir Walter Scott.

George Square.

George Square.

Posted by irenevt 02:40 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Glasgow

A Walk Along The River Clyde.

We actually walked along the Clyde from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) to Glasgow Green one morning before going off to Dunblane and then visited the Riverside Museum the next day in the afternoon. However, I will describe the sights on the River Clyde starting from Riverside Museum as that puts them all in a straight line.

The River Clyde was once the centre of industrial Glasgow. Its banks were lined with ship building yards. Nowadays the industry has gone and there is a very pleasant walkway along the north side of the river.

Riverside Museum is a bit tricky to reach. It is possible to get there from Partick or from the SECC. We walked from the SECC. I had thought we could go straight along the river, but this was not possible, we had to divert inland a bit and walk at the side of a major road.

Riverside Museum was built on the site of the former Inglis Shipyard, at the confluence of the Clyde and Kelvin Rivers. This wonderful and highly unusual building was designed by Iraqi-born female architect Zaha Hadid who died in 2016.

Riverside Museum is home to Glasgow's transport museum. As we arrived just as the museum was closing, we did not go inside. However, I have visited the transport museum many times before when it used to be housed in the Kelvin Hall, so I was not too bothered by this. I was there to see the building rather than the museum itself. My photos are not great as we reached the museum just as the skies turned black and a huge rainstorm was about to begin.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

In front of the museum a tall ship, the Glenlee is permanently moored. The Glenlee was built in Port Glasgow by the Glasgow shipping firm of Archibald Sterling and Co. Ltd. She began sailing as a bulk cargo carrier in 1896. She sailed around the world four times before being abandoned in a harbour in Seville and left to rot. She was discovered there in 1990 and bought by the Clyde Maritime Trust who brought her home and restored her to her former glory.

The Glenlee.

The Glenlee.

I believe it is possible to take a little boat from Riverside Museum across to Govan Old Church and see the Govan stones. I will try and do this in the summer.

Looking towards Govan.

Looking towards Govan.

About twenty minutes walk east of Riverside will take you to the SECC. As I said above we actually went there the day before visiting Riverside and fortunately the weather was much better with clear blue skies all the way.

The SECC is located in Finnieston and can be reached easily by taking the train to Exhibition Centre railway station - a station that used to be known as Finnieston Station. The SECC originally opened in 1985, and has been expanded twice: first in 1997 with the construction of the Armadillo and then in 2013 with the building of the Hydro. It is built on the site of the former Queen's Dock which closed to navigation in 1969.

The Main SECC Building used to be nicknamed The Big Red Shed as it looked like a giant red painted warehouse. Since 1997 it has been painted grey. I like the Clydebuilt Bar in this building. The SECC Armadillo, which looks a little like the Sydney Opera House was designed by world renowned architect Sir Norman Foster. He also designed The SSE Hydro. These buildings host major events such as concerts, sporting events, award ceremonies etc. The best way to photograph these buildings is to cross the River Clyde and snap them from the other side.

Some reminders of Glasgow's industrial heritage have been retained amongst the new buildings. One such reminder is the Finnieston Crane, properly known as the Stobcross Crane. This is a giant cantilever crane once used for loading cargo, such as steam engines, onto ships at the Queen's Docks. Another reminder of the past are the Rotundas. The Glasgow Harbour Tunnel Rotundas are two circular red brick buildings on opposite sides of the River Clyde. They were designed by Simpson and Wilson, and built between 1890 and 1896. They covered 24-metre deep shafts which led to tunnels which enabled both people and cars to cross underneath the River Clyde. These tunnels have long since closed down as they were too expensive to maintain. The North Rotunda is now being used as a restaurant.

Across the river from the SECC stands the Glasgow Science Centre, as well at the studios of STV and BBC Scotland. The River Clyde has many bridges. One of the most attractive is the Clyde Arc Bridge which you can see near the SECC.

The Armadillo and Hydro buildings.

The Armadillo and Hydro buildings.

Me with the Clyde Arc behind me.

Me with the Clyde Arc behind me.

The North Rotunda.

The North Rotunda.

The South Rotunda.

The South Rotunda.

The Science Centre and BBC Scotland.

The Science Centre and BBC Scotland.

Peter with the SECC.

Peter with the SECC.

The SECC and the Finnieston Crane.

The SECC and the Finnieston Crane.

Clydebuilt Bar in the SECC main building.

Clydebuilt Bar in the SECC main building.

Walking away from the SECC towards the city centre we passed a monument to a terrible fire which took place in the Cheapside Street Whisky Bond Warehouse on the 28th of March 1960. As the whisky and rum in the warehouse exploded it caused parts of the building to fall killing 19 firemen.

Monument to the Cheapside Warehouse fire.

Monument to the Cheapside Warehouse fire.

A short time later we passed a former Renfrew ferry which has been permanently moored and converted into an entertainment venue. The Renfrew ferry used to be a popular way to cross the River Clyde prior to the building of the Clyde Tunnel and many new bridges. The Yoker Renfrew passenger ferry is apparently still in operation.

The Ferry.

The Ferry.

The River Clyde is crossed by many bridges; some ordinary looking, some very fancy The next one to catch my eye was the Tradeston Bridge, nicknamed the squiggly bridge. This is a pedestrian bridge linking Anderston on the north bank of the Clyde to Tradeston on the south bank. It was opened in 2009.

The Tradeston Bridge.

The Tradeston Bridge.

After that my attention was attracted to the Clyde Port Authority Building with its lovely sculptures. This building is located on Robertson Street. It was designed by J. J. Burnet. and completed in 1908. Its sculptures were created by Albert Hodge and John Mossman. Most of them have a maritime theme such as Neptune, seahorses and boats. This was the building which monitored and controlled traffic on the River Clyde.

The Clyde Port Authority Building.

The Clyde Port Authority Building.

Next we passed under what seemed like a whole plethora of bridges and passed the remains of others as we walked under the main rail lines leading south from Glasgow Central Station. The railway is carried on the first and second Caledonian Railway Bridges which date from 1878 and 1905 respectively.

View from under a bridge.

View from under a bridge.

Peter by the Clyde.

Peter by the Clyde.

The next point of interest on our walk was the old Customs House a lovely old building, currently vacant and at risk. Hopefully it can be converted and find a new use. The Customs House was designed by John Taylor and opened in 1840.

In front of this building stands a statue called La Pasionaria. It was designed by Liverpool sculptor, Arthur Dooley, who died penniless in 1994. He never even got to see the finished statue being unveiled as he could not afford the train fare to Glasgow. The statue is a tribute to the British Volunteers of the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. The statue shows Dolores Ibárruri, nicknamed La Pasionaria or The Passion Flower. She was a Communist heroine of the Spanish Civil War. The statue represents the fight against fascism and reads 'Better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.'

La Pasionaria.

La Pasionaria.

The Old Customs House.

The Old Customs House.

Next we passed another of the murals that are beautifying the sides of various Glasgow buildings. This one showed a tiger. We also passed the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, a Roman Catholic Cathedral designed in 1814 by James Gillespie Graham.

Tiger Mural.

Tiger Mural.

St Andrew's Cathedral.

St Andrew's Cathedral.

Our next point of interest was the Clutha Bar. Clutha means the River Clyde. Cluthas were up and down the river passenger ferries in bygone days. This pub is well known for its live music. In November 2013 tragedy struck here when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the pub killing ten people: seven pub customers and three police officers. The pub had to close down for a year and a half following this incident. It re-opened in July 2015. The outside of the pub has been decorated by a wonderful mural depicting famous Glasgow celebrities or people with a link to the pub: such as Billy Connolly, Jimmy Reid, Spike Milligan, Frank Zappa and Alex Harvey . The mural is the work of street artists Bob McNamara, aka RogueOne, and Danny McDermott, aka EJEK.

The Clutha Bar.

The Clutha Bar.

The Clutha Mural.

The Clutha Mural.

Next to the Clutha I was impressed by the lovely horse head sculptures on a building I did not recognise. I have since found out it is Briggait, Glasgow's former fish market, dating from 1873. It has now been restored and is currently used as an arts centre.

The Briggait.

The Briggait.

The Briggait detail.

The Briggait detail.

The Merchants' Steeple, dating from 1665 is nowadays part of the Briggait. It was originally part of the Merchant's House which was built here in 1659 . When this area went into decline, most of the Merchants'House was demolished in 1818, but the Merchants' Steeple was spared. The steeple is 164 feet tall. The spire of the steeple is supposedly topped by a copper ship on a globe, the symbol of the Merchants' House.

The Merchants' Steeple.

The Merchants' Steeple.

Finally we reached Glasgow Green which I will write about in another blog.

Posted by irenevt 22:37 Archived in Scotland Comments (2)

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